Newark Public Schools commit to launching a Girls Who Code Club in every school and teaching the organization’s Women in Tech lesson plans
December 13, 2018 (Newark, NJ) — Today, Girls Who Code founder and CEO Reshma Saujani and Newark Public Schools Superintendent Roger León are hosting an event at the Rafael Hernandez School in Newark, New Jersey to celebrate the city’s commitment to tech education for girls.
As a part of a new partnership with Girls Who Code, Newark will open a Girls Who Code club in 24 of the district’s middle schools—providing more than 3,000 girls with the opportunity to learn to code. Newark Public Schools will also introduce the organization’s Women in Tech lesson plans to every middle school.
“It’s time that we prepare our students—specifically, our girls—for the future of work,” said Girls Who Code Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani. “This effort starts in our schools. With more partnerships like this one in Newark we can make sure our girls are ready to take on the highest-paying jobs and that, one day soon, we eliminate the gender gap in tech. We are grateful to Newark Public Schools and to Superintendent Roger León for such incredible leadership in tech education.”
In the six months since launching the lesson plans, nearly 3,000 teachers and advocates across the country have accessed the Girls Who Code resource. Based on the overwhelming popularity of these lessons plans, Girls Who Code has released a second set. The lesson plans feature women pioneers in tech, including: Chieko Asakawa, Nicole Dominguez, Grace Hopper, Ayanna Howard, Katherine Johnson, Miral Kotb, Ada Lovelace, Vanessa Tostado, Brenda Wilkerson, and the ENIAC women.
“I want to thank Girls Who Code for bringing their vision, energy and resources to Newark students,” said Newark Superintendent of Schools Roger León. “I often say, ‘education is the answer’ While this is true, we must also acknowledge and that educating our students has changed and will continue to change over time. Computer Science and more importantly, computational thinking, are at the core of learning and preparing for a future in which Newark students will lead. Access to careers of the future starts today, which is why bringing Girls Who Code to Newark is both monumental for our students, our families, school district and city and the first step of our broader commitment to provide a CS education for every student in our schools.”
This partnership builds on a recent $2 million commitment by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to expand computer science education in the state by requiring that all public high schools offer computer science in the 2018-19 school year and increasing the number of schools offering advanced computer science classes.
One of the primary challenges that girls face in pursuing computer science as a career is a lack of female role models. In a study by Stanford professor Raj Chetty, research confirms that if girls are as exposed to female inventors as boys are to male inventors, female innovation rates would rise by 164 percent and the gender gap in innovation would fall by 55 percent. According to a report done in partnership by Accenture and Girls Who Code, introducing girls to computing earlier means they are more likely to show interest in computing throughout their high school and college years.
Girls Who Code Women in Tech lesson plans are available for free to teachers nationwide online at https://girlswhocode.com/women-in-tech-lessonplans/.
About Girls Who Code:
Girls Who Code is an international non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. Through their programs,, they are leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Girls Who Code has reached over 90,000 girls in the United States since starting in 2012. To join the movement or learn more, visit girlswhocode.com.